Common Law: Trust and Progress

Common Law S01E05: “The T Word”

This week in couples counseling, Travis and Wes were given homework because they screwed around during their session and revealed absolutely nothing of note to one another during a trust exercise. Wes pointed out that they didn’t have to tell each other deep, dark secrets to practice trusting one another because they faced life and death situations regularly—like the opening hostage situation that had no connection to the storyline except to illustrate this one fact. He had a point, but Dr. Emma asked him to explain to the class what prompted him to draw a gun on Travis back before the series started, the event that got them shuffled off to therapy, and I no longer cared what Wes’s point was because I’m impatient and want to know all of the things.

The case of the week revolved around The Babyfaces, a band of burglars who donned oddly terrifying baby masks and communicated via Army Ranger signals. After hitting four double McMansions with cheese, the FBI stepped in to help with/take over the investigation, which would have annoyed Detectives Mitchell and Marks more if Agent D’Amico wasn’t a total babe.

We met yet another one of Travis’s foster families and yet another brother with insight into the case. Travis’s foster background is apparently the gift that keeps on giving. Travis’s brother, Jason, a former Army Ranger, dropped a few hints that led our bromantic detectives to investigate a demolitions expert with possible connections to The Babyfaces. Wes stepped on a land mine’s pressure plate because the suspect had seeded his own front lawn with mines and that is not at all insane or incriminating. Nope. Not crazy at all.

Travis tried to recreate the same amount of weight Wes applied to the pressure plate with some conveniently left-behind buckets. With one of the buckets quickly leaking water and the mine set to go off after ninety seconds whether Wes stepped off of the plate or not, they hoped to at least buy enough time to take cover before T minus 0. It was the ultimate application of Dr. Emma’s homework assignment, but it also reinforced Wes’s point about trust. As the two of them babbled some slightly panicked exposition while the ticker quickly counted down to zero, Travis told Wes to trust him and his plan. “I don’t have a choice,” Wes responded.

Maybe it was sarcasm or fear speaking, but for all intents and purposes, “I don’t have a choice,” sums up Wes and Travis perfectly. It’s easy to trust your BFF (though I still totally and completely agree that at one point pre-series, these two were real friends), but it’s not so easy to trust someone you don’t particularly like. However, if you DO end up trusting that person, and he or she repeatedly proves his or herself a worthy recipient of that trust; that’s a pretty strong relationship, don’t you think?

So Wes lived to antagonize Travis another day and Richard the Paranoid Demolitions Expert was arrested. Despite not being a mask-packing member of The Babyfaces, Richard admitted that he'd had dealings with them, providing explosives and other weapons. He said that they wore the masks even during business transactions, but identified one as doing some neat Zippo-lighter tricks.

Uh-oh. Travis’s ex-Army foster brother did neat Zippo-lighter tricks. What did it MEAN?

Actually, at that point, it was fairly obvious what it meant. Travis stalked Jason for the better part of a day, got him to recreate the lighter trick, and then talked to his former foster mama just to be sure. He confronted Jason, who was really quite smug about the whole thing. I mean, dude, your foster brother is a fairly respected detective in the LAPD, which means he isn’t an idiot. If he’s onto you, maybe you should try not to be an ass about it?

Travis eventually came clean to Wes with everything he knew about Jason. It was our big, touchy-feely trust moment of the evening. In return, Wes admitted that even though he often picked on Travis about his seemingly endless parade of foster brothers, he was sometimes jealous because he doesn’t have anything like that in his own family. I would have rather heard about why he pulled a gun on him pre-series, but I’m picky. Still, it was progress!

Armed with a final McMansion address from Travis’s foster mom, Wes and Travis organized a sting and intercepted The Babyfaces before they could do any real damage. Jason broke away from the pack to make a great escape, but Travis intercepted him. Stuck in a face-off, with guns pointed at each other’s faces, the situation looked tense until it was Wes to the rescue, deftly sniping Jason in the shoulder to break things up. Travis thanked him, and admitted that he wouldn’t have been able to pull the trigger himself. Wes said that’s why he was there, to make sure Travis never had to.

Aw. Wes was a good partner. Even Agent D’Amico said so.

“Sometimes,” Wes said, only willing to give himself so much credit.

I think everybody needs to head over to Captain Mike for some group hugs.

Case Notes & Follow-up Questions

– Did anyone else catch the implication that Wes and Travis work together to cheat at therapy? Travis took the homework assignment seriously and spent most of the beginning of the episode trying to tell Wes this or that. Wes told him to just write something down and he’d read it before their next session. Travis pointed out that Emma “always knows when we do that.” I love it. More and more, I’m getting the vibe that the mutual “hate” these two are rocking is a recent development.

– Those masks were so creepy. So, so creepy.

– Agent D’Amico gave her phone number to both Travis AND Wes. Well played, ma’am. Well played indeed.

– So Wes and Travis’s inability to get along is generally played for laughs, but the gun incident that finally got them sent to therapy is apparently anything but funny. I think I’m finally intrigued. You?

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